We knew we were going to meet Saint Shiva tonight, but we weren’t sure how. And it turned out to be a little different from what we expected. But naturally, we couldn’t get right there. First, we had to deal with that most enticing of all MMO situations — politics.
The leaders of the three allied Eorzean nations met in Ul’dah to discuss the uncomfortable revelations about the traitors in their midst. The Garlean Empire had been content to just fortify their existing strongholds in Eorzea until recently. Even after the destruction of their Ultima weapon, they seem eager to take on the combined Eorzean forces, and even the new Crystal Braves grand company is not slowing them down.
But, the mysterious traitor known only as “Ivy” has been leaking battle plans. The Garleans know exactly where and when to strike. Before anything can be done about the Harriers and the threat of their new primal, we must first unmask and deal with the traitor.
We are appropriately thankful that we can rely upon the Crystal Braves to have our back.
… or maybe not. Gotta love how even the FFXIV writers are acknowledging that the various NPCs not only aren’t planning on helping, they never had any intention of helping. Kasul and I love cataloging the silly excuses the NPCs give for never helping out on anything important. Instead, just asking us to dig up some allies to take care of the insidious existential threats that face all of Eorzea.
Even given all that, we enjoyed seeing Urianger (AKA Creepy Elf) get a girlfriend! The Sharlayan Moenbryda, a tall Roegadyn woman, seems to have had some sort of history with our favorite Extreme Primal unlocker.
She’s not ALL fun and games, though. Summoned because of her knowledge of aetheryte magic (the sort of magic Y’shtola was supposed to have, Kasul remembered), she came with the latest research from the Sharlayan island. Iceheart had escaped us after Snowcloak by performing an untraceable teleportation which implied she had destroyed her destination aetheryte after arriving. Moenbryda had discovered a technique to allow a brave adventurer (and seven of her closest friends) to perhaps follow the lingering aetheric field. Or perhaps be destroyed forever.
The initial attunement worked well, with the aethyric energy being sucked into the rare white aetheryte she’d brought. White aetheryte can only store such energies for a short time (making it unsuitable to reform an aetheric “Blade of Light” with which to destroy Ascian souls), but it should do for this purpose — if we were ready to leave (or be destroyed) instantly.
Thankfully, the duty finder didn’t take long to make us a full party…
The white aetheryte pulse succeeded! We kinda expected it would, though I have to admit getting a notice that our characters had not made the transition successfully and were now deleted would have made us sit up straight in our chairs for a moment as we recoiled in shock and appreciation and unsubbed from the game.
Iceheart seemed a little surprised to see us, and tried to enlist us to her side. It’s attractive, to be sure. Feeling trod upon? Gather a lot of crystals together and summon a primal to your side, send it out to do your will against those that assail you. Instant retribution. All Iceheart really wants to do is to ensure the peace by destroying all that would chafe against it.
We couldn’t allow for that. And so she… summoned Saint Shiva… by BECOMING Saint Shiva! She went through a heck of a transformation and like some sort of Eorzean Sailor Senshi became… Saint Shiva!
The above picture was made using Sailor Senshi Maker 3, btw.
Well, all we could do then was to kill her. So we did. Though it appears lower in the list than any other hard mode trial we’ve done or attempted, her fight was fairly easy, not anywhere near the level of an Urth’s Fount/Odin. Though, again, maybe this time we just had enough dps.
With the Shiva Senshi taken care of, and Iceheart once again back to normal mode and vanished (leaving behind only some cryptic words of warning or hope), it was back to Mos Eisley where the unmasking of the traitorous Ivy had been accomplished, and turned out to be the second in command of the Immortal Flames, Ul’dah’s grand company (and home to both Kasul and I). We pursued her through Gridania and into South Shroud. She’d brought a company of Garlean military, and all we had were Crystal Braves. We were doomed, right?
This being a solo instance, Kasul and I had to split up and take them on separately. It took me three times before I both figured out the strat (kill healers and Magitek Death Claws and keep taunting with Flash and Circle of Scorn all the time) and executed it well. Kasul did it in two tries by killing some key mobs and chain healing our key NPC, Ilbrand (I think that’s his name).
With Ivy’s defeat, and the completion of a subplot involving an Ishgard prince finally extending an olive branch and clearing the way to bringing Ishgard back into the Eorzean alliance, we were done with patch 2.4.
We’re almost done with the pre-expansion plot. This final chapter undoubtedly deals with the fight against the Ascians and the full might of the Ishgard nation brought to bear on the primal infestation.
Still have lots to do pre-expansion, though. But the end is in sight.